Wild game is one of the primary foundations of soul food. Back in the day, the slaves only ate the discards of the food, not the prime rib! We had to hunt, trap, kill, clean, dress, and cook our own food. I remember when I was a child my dad always went hunting and it was rare for him to return bare-handed.
One of my earliest memories of butchering an animal is being taught how to skin, gut, and prep a rabbit for the pot! Today, there’s a fast-food restaurant on every corner and a grocery store not too far away. For many people, this means, no longer is it necessary to hunt your own food. In fact, many hunters today, do so for sport only which I do not agree with. If you’re not going to eat it, please don’t kill it!
I happen to live in a state that has loads of wildlife that are allowed to be hunted. We have pheasant, wild turkeys, and other small game that has permitted seasons for hunting. One of my favorite meats lately is deer meat or venison. You can buy venison in some specialty stores and online but I have friends who hunt, so for the price of a tag (license), it’s mine! It’s a real bargain to get about 20 pounds of deer meat for the price of a $6 tag and $55 meat processing fee. Deer meat is super lean so you can eat it even if you’re on a diet!
I especially like the tenderloin which is what we get when our deer is processed. Deer roast, tenderloin, sweet sausage, hot sausage, pepper sticks (deer jerky), and ground deer are what we get. The sausage and pepper sticks is a little extra but worth it! This year, I started making my own deer sausage and I’m very happy with the results! I thought you may enjoy giving it a try, so I’m including my deer sausage recipe for you. One way that I like to use deer sausage is in pasta sauce. Brown the deer meat, combine it with tomato paste & sauce, peppers & onions, etc. Add your favorite spices and seasoning, and voila! Simply delicious!
TIP: As I said, deer meat is super lean so to make a true deer sausage, you have to add fat. The easiest way I have found to do that is to do a 50-50 mix with one pound of ground deer and one pound of ground pork.